House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Friday that she would lead a U.S. congressional delegation to Ghana and visit the U.S. Army Africa headquarters in Italy next week.
The trip to the African nation coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America, and the members of Congress plan to pay their respects at Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and the “Door of No Return” in observance of the anniversary.
The “Door of No Return” was a passage that thousands of slaves walked through to get on ships that would bring them across the treacherous Atlantic Ocean to ports in the New World. It is estimated that around 30,000 slaves went through the “Door of No Return” each year.
Pelosi will also become the first speaker of the House to deliver an address to the Ghanaian Parliament and will also hold “high-level discussions” with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Speaker Mike Oquaye, and other senior government officials.
“As we face evolving global security challenges, our delegation will thank our men and women in
uniform and receive briefings from U.S. military leaders at U.S. Army Africa headquarters,” Pelosi said in a statement.
The delegation includes Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina and Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat born in Somalia who along with her “squad” has stirred controversy with Pelosi in recent weeks over a power struggle between Democratic leaders and the young, liberal caucus of the party. Pelosi denied a serious rift with liberal freshman star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another member of “the squad,” following a short meeting Friday morning.
“In Ghana, our delegation looks forward to high-level discussions on key issues such as regional security, sustainable and inclusive development and the challenges of tomorrow including the climate crisis,” Pelosi said. “It is a special honor to be the first U.S. Speaker of the House to address the illustrious Parliament of Ghana, as we build on the partnership between our nations.”
Other members of the delegation include Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass, Rep. Barbara Lee, the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader from Georgia.